Growing mini gardens indoors using Automated Hydroponic Systems has been a trend these days. Having a green space in our homes gives us the fragrance of comfort and relaxation that we need to cope and thrive in facing this worldwide pandemic, or the COVID-19 outbreak. Hydroponics has been a helpful strategy to prevent the taxing and highly maintenance required by most plants.
This Automated Hydroponic System is a method that most plant growers use particularly those who unfortunately don’t have the “green thumb” characteristic. It is a good alternative style of accelerating the growth scale and production of plant seeds. Instead of using soil, the plants are supported by water with a particular solution and essential minerals. Applying this method will help in controlling and improving the yield production of your plantation.
There are different types of automated growing systems. It is important to gain knowledge about these various methods in order to confidently choose among them which is the most appropriate and convenient to use. If you are interested in establishing a green space at your house, continue reading this article, to guide you in choosing the best automated hydroponic system.
Ebb and Flow
Ebb and Flow is also called Flood and Drain. Basically, it works by flooding the root zone with the nutrient solution and allowing it to drain at a certain cycle. The cycle is based on the schedule or timer you have set. The plants are arranged in pots and together housed in a growing medium (large tray) where the solution is being pumped up to the tray.
As the solution overflows, it creates a circulation where the water is being drained into the reservoir to be filled with the nutrients again. Then, the reservoir pumps the solution back into the grow tray. This cycle will last depending on the timer you have set. As the timer goes off, the system will flood the tray once again and when it reaches the overflowing level, the pumping will stop and the tray will drain out the water back to the reservoir.
The Ebb and flow system is more budget-friendly than the DWC. This takes up less space, easy to set up, and affordable. This automated hydroponic system is commonly used by indoor planters who are limited, but can maintain adequate sizes of plantation.
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
The Deep Water Culture or DWC is one of the simplest and most popular hydroponic systems. This method requires reservoirs filled with nutrients. The root system of the plants is directly suspended within the reservoir where the nutrients and oxygen is being pumped through the system consistently. The oxygen pump is highly essential because it supports the plant and prevents suffocation. The DWC is also a method that blocks the sunlight to prevent the build-up of algae within the system.
The DWC is an ideal environmental controller especially if you are planning to build a spacious greenhouse at your house. This system goes along with rapid growth results for larger plants and so it explains the expensive rate of the method. The DWC has a great greenhouse controller and it is mostly used by plant growers who are willing to invest more in planting huge indoor plants.
Aeroponic method is neither using soil nor water to support the plants. This system works by placing the plants in a small basket, hanging in the air which allows the roots to grow. A mixture of nutrient solutions is sprayed on the plants on a regular schedule. This nutrient mist is responsible for providing the supplements and oxygen level needed by the plants.
The Aeroponic System is an effective automated hydroponic system for indoor plants and it can support numerous small plants that have wide plant breeds. This system is perfect for cloning and plant propagation since it doesn’t require too much space. In addition, the spaces between the plants do not harm the plants. In fact, plants can thrive more in closer spaces and those who grow slowly can survive as well using the proper nutrient misting.
Drip Hydroponic System
This process works by using a tube that contains the nutrients and dripping this solution directly onto the plant. The drip emitter or tube is placed on top of the plant, letting gravity, as the medium, to slowly transfer the solution to the roots down to the reservoir tray.
The tray serves as the collector of the used solution whereas reusing it is an option. Depending on the set up, the drip method can function in a recirculating or non-recirculating system. The recirculating system pertains to the recycling of the solution, pumping it back to the plants to give more nutrition.
The drip method is commonly used for larger crops or commercial plants. This method is considered to be cost-effective and manageable which means that the system is affordable while it can sustain the growth of your plants. It is even more efficient with the use of a good hydroponic CO2 controller in order to monitor how healthy the plant condition is.
The Aquaponic System is a unique way of growing plants because it involves fishes. The plants benefit from the waste of the fishes that serve as their nutrients. Thus, the nutrient reservoir in this system is mainly a fish tank or aquarium.
This kind of fully automated hydroponic system also benefited the fishes because the plants are responsible for maintaining the freshness and cleanness of the water. Moreover, the aqua plants provide enough oxygen for the fishes to survive meaning it is a mutual healthy relationship between the two living things.
The Aquaponic System is more favorable for owners that have small plants only. The presence of the fish added in the required maintenance making it hard to sustain large flowering plants or yields. However, the Aquaponic is the most aesthetically appealing if you are building a small plantation on the countertops inside your house.
In short there is no one best automated hydroponic system that fits everyone needs. As we described each system have pluses and minuses and everyone will find a different best method to grow his plants. So, you just need to pick one and give it a go. This is the only true way to find out what is the best automated hydroponic system for you.